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Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio & Bonamici: More than $31 Million to Lane & Washington Counties for Critical Transportation Updates

Nov 18, 2021
Press Release

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Suzanne Bonamici today announced that Lane and Washington counties have earned a combined more than $31 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) for road, rail, and transit improvements.

 

“I’ve said for a long time, you can't have a big league economy with little league infrastructure,” Wyden said. “I am gratified these two counties have earned such large grants that will take a big shovel to the infrastructure backlog facing our state. I am pleased we can put Oregonians to work in their communities to build a more resilient and stronger state, and will keep working for similar investments throughout Oregon.”

“Roads and other transportation projects benefit every Oregonian trying to get from point A to point B, while expanding job growth in communities that are in desperate need of updated transportation routes,” said Merkley. “These RAISE grants distributed to Lane and Washington Counties will improve the quality and safety of our roadways, rails, trails, and buses that connect us, and I look forward to seeing the results of this much needed investment.”

“I’m pleased to see funding go to climate-smart projects in Oregon that support our recovery and increase our resilience,” DeFazio said. “The multimodal transformation of Franklin Boulevard has been a huge priority in our community for years. As Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’ve worked to provide additional federal funding for projects like this and repeatedly urged the Department of Transportation to support this project. I’m glad our community will receive funding to transform this major, outdated state highway and finally remove barriers to investment, mobility, and access.”

“Oregonians are looking for opportunities to be outdoors, and this new trail in Washington County will provide safe access,”Bonamici said. “I was thrilled to support Washington County’s successful application for $12.2 million in federal funding for the Council Creek Regional Trail, which will connect our vibrant and growing communities. This new trail will finally give residents of Forest Grove and Cornelius a safe pathway to transit connections within the Metro region, reducing injuries and fatalities on a deadly stretch of highway.” 

The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant program provides a unique opportunity for USDOT to invest in local road, rail, transit and port projects. Lane County will receive $19 million to perform critical safety and mobility updates to Franklin Boulevard. Washington County will receive $12.2 million for Council Creek Regional Trail, a 15-mile trail that will link Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove and Banks offering walkers and cyclists safe, enjoyable connections to jobs, schools, transit, recreation opportunities and nature.

“The City of Springfield is honored to receive this RAISE grant to help rebuild Franklin Boulevard.  Our community deserves a modern transportation corridor which emphasizes roadway safety and mobility. We are grateful to our partners at the City of Eugene and Lane Transit District for their teamwork in bringing these competitive funds to our region.  This award will set the tone locally for America’s planned reinvestment in critical infrastructure over the next decade to support quality of life, jobs, transportation choices, and a healthy local economy.  We cannot thank our Federal Delegation, including Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley and Congressman Peter DeFazio enough for their support and leadership,” said Springfield Mayor Sean VanGordon.

"Eugene is grateful to be part of the Eugene-Springfield-LTD team that received the $19M award from the US Department of Transportation for the redesign and construction of Franklin Blvd.  The new design includes increased mobility and safety options for people walking, biking and riding the bus within one of Eugene's busiest corridors that links Eugene and Springfield downtown areas with the University of Oregon.  All of Eugene should be thankful for the effort of our federal delegation, Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Congressman DeFazio for their support in this effort,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis.

“The RAISE award of $19M for the Franklin Boulevard Transformation Project checks three important boxes for me: transit development, investing in workforce and community assets, and equity and climate.  I know these are shared priorities fo Chairman DeFazio as well as both Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley. I want to thank them for the important work they did to support this local project and for their role in creating the framework for the RAISE Grant offered by the US Department of Transportation.  Their commitment to infrastructure funding means new construction and engineering jobs will be created not just in Springfield but across the United States – lifting up our local economies, families and communities,” said Chair of the Lane County Commission Joe Berney.

“This grant will provide a climate-friendly, healthy way to get to work or school, run errands, connect to MAX or get some exercise,” said Washington County District 4 Commissioner Jerry Willey. “These funds will help make the communities’ vision for this trail a reality. Thanks to our delegation for the ongoing advocacy to provide these resources into the future.”

"I’m ecstatic that Washington County has been awarded the RAISE funding for the Council Creek Regional Trail Project. I grew up a mile away from where this project will be built, and it fills my heart with joy that this corridor will be transformed for kids like me and families that call the west end home. This is a huge win for the communities in Hillsboro, Cornelius and Forest Grove who’ve long experienced gaps in critical infrastructure investment,” said Metro Councilor, District 4, Juan Carlos González.